Roman Fever Symbolism

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‘’Roman Fever’’, written by Edith Wharton in 1934, tells the story of two wealthy, American women who are in Rome visiting their daughters. Rome, known as the Eternal City, gives significant meaning throughout “Roman Fever” and highlights the sequence of events that happen to Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley. The ladies had met in the city previously and presented each other with the idea that each led a perfect life since they had each found their significant other within the city during their stay. As the story progresses, the reader will pick up on minor clues that enable them to better understand the relations between the women, their daughters, and the Eternal City. Throughout the short story, the uses of symbolism in relation to the story,…show more content…
Within ‘‘Roman Fever’’, symbols such as the title, evening darkness, knitting needles, and the colosseum play into why Wharton published this piece. The title ‘’Roman Fever’’ is significant because during the plague of malaria, which so happens is defined as bad air. The use of the title as a symbol tells the story before it is even read, in that it will possess an illness of some kind that will manifest itself within the story. The evening darkness symbolizes the deep secrets of Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley and the process of the secrets coming to light. During one section of ‘‘Roman Fever’’, Grace is knitting with Crimson Silk, which symbolizes the intertwined story within and the feud boiling within the women themselves. Finally, the use of the setting of the colosseum symbolizes a place of hiding. Throughout the short story, instances of symbolism appear to give the insight Wharton is trying to bring out of the colosseum. This, in turn not only brings significance to “Roman Fever” but begins to bring forth the story within. The use of symbolism within their story shows the significance of how social norms impact women throughout the times of Wharton and how…show more content…
Slade and Mrs. Ansley. The story tells a tale of the relationships of two women who in respect to their time of society would in many ways go against their indented duties. She used the knitting to show the web of lies, betrayal, and secrets that lie within a jealous friendship. The minor clues that enable them to better understand the relations between the women, their daughters, and the Eternal City help show this correlation and shows how while the story can be full of narrative to always look within. Edith Wharton was not a typical woman, so it is safe to assume she would not produce typical work. Symbolisms role within the story plays the largest role in bringing forth her understanding of the fever but is backed up by her vivid characters and her play on ironic dialogue. She shows how an ending such as “Barbara” can become not only a play on words, but bring forth the diverse meanings, illness, hiding behind social norms put on women throughout times in

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